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Author Topic: Weber Cali vs. Purple Haze  (Read 7353 times)
Jkendrick
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« on: January 05, 2016, 06:43:01 PM »

I asked this in a thread on TGP about Trey's new gear (are some of you on that thread? If so, what are your usernames?) and didn't get a helpful answer. I'm curious about the tonal differences between the Weber Californias (which I currently use) and the Purple Haze speakers Trey has recently adopted. Anyone have a good breakdown?
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2016, 06:54:29 PM »

I haven't seen your TGP post so forgive me if this is repeated.  Also it's not exactly the comparison you asked for,  but here are 2 links where Brad Sarno explains them vs JBL'e and others.  He references Trey consulting with him in the second link.

http://www.rukind.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=419&t=16681

http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=2388833&sid=738c7685a333005598578f61af2199eb
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seriesnuns
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2016, 09:07:53 PM »

I recently got a purple haze/winterland combo.

I've never played a weber cali, but I have played a weber blue dog, weber feromax, and the speakers they replaced were WGS Vet 30 and ET65.

I think I finally got them broken in, I also had the service done by Sigmund. They sound pretty damn good. A big difference from my VET 30 and ET65. Like much punchier, tone knob on my guitar is 10x more transparent, the cleans are articulate, when you drive it with some overdrive it sounds very alive and not sterile or flat at all. These are also a lower wattage speaker compared to the weber cali.

I'm pretty impressed. I'm also playing it through a Mark iii. The only other speakers I've played through this amp besides the WGS is the weber blue dog and it sounded too bright.

Hope that helps. This is also what Chris Siegmund said about the speakers, when I asked him about which I should put on the top of a 2x12

"With this combination of Ceramic and Alnico, the Ceramic will be a bit punchier and brighter compared to the more relaxed Alnico.
 
So the Alnico on top being closer to the ears will give a more balanced overall volume."
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2016, 10:16:28 PM »

What do you mean with the tone knob 10x more transparent?  As in the tone knob comes into play and makes a difference where it is?
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seriesnuns
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2016, 07:59:23 AM »

Transparent was the best adjective I could think of when typing that up. With these speakers the tone knob rolled back has much better tone and responsiveness than any other previous speaker I've played.  

I've been playing these speakers for a few months so I'm used to it now but that was the first thing that jumped at me. I also had to dial my reverb back because it to was coming through so good.

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Buffered
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2016, 10:17:51 AM »

I really wish they had a higher power handling for my 50W amps...

I had a Weber Cali w/ a paper dome, very JBL like but had a ice pick to it at extremer settings on my amp, they can definitely be dialed out though. Didn't like OD that much, so I can only assume the Alnico Haze will do better with dirt pedals.
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Jkendrick
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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2016, 10:32:58 AM »


That's pretty much my exact sentiments, Buffered. The cleans are perfect, but I do sometimes get harsh ice picky sounds and the OD is a little too biting. Wondering if the Purple Haze would be a good upgrade. I really like my cleans with the Cali though.
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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2016, 10:41:28 AM »

Damn just saw the Purple Haze's are only rated to 40w.  I could throw 2 in my 2x12 cab and run my MKIII at half power (60w) which I what I usually do anyways, but I'd have to make damn sure I NEVER switch it over to full power (100w) or it'd compromise the speakers.
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« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2016, 11:44:20 AM »

So would a 40w PH be a bad idea in a DR? My Cali is 60w.
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'78 Silverface Fender Deluxe Reverb (Weber California w/ paper cone)
Teese RMC3 Wah> Boss Tu-3 Tuner> MXR Phase 45> Ibanez TS9 (Keeley modded)> TS808 (Analogman TV)> Keeley Compressor (two knob)>VFE Rocket Boost EQ> Boss DD-3> DigiTech JamMan Solo XT
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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2016, 11:57:29 AM »

The speaker would overdrive easier @ 40W into a DR. I always like to have at least 2x the power handling of the speaker for an amp.

IE Mesa Express 5:50+ into a C90, which is 90 watts, so close to that.

Back onto the ice pick, a hemp cone speaker would definitely smooth out the highs. A great hempcone speaker IMHO is the Steamboat Hemp 100 Heady turned me onto them last year and it's great. That's a Tone Tubby cone, with a celestion frame (Heady can probably explain a lot more) but it's a solid speaker and at $105 from Steamboat amps its a great alternative for smooth, singing OD and nice chimey cleans. I love pairing mine with a SMS Preamp w/ JG mods into a Fryette Power Station, which has a hi-fi type sound when using it as a tube power amp. Anyways, that's another option. Also, if you're thinking about reamping your DR to play louder clean etc perhaps more power handling would help. I think that 40W is fine if it was just the DR, but knowing you have a PS and the option is there to re amp, I'd suggest about 100W speakers. Sorry if that didn't make sense, still on cup #1
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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2016, 12:25:21 PM »

Totally makes sense. And that Steamboat is a LOT cheaper than a Purple Haze. I'd much rather get my OD from the tubes than the speaker. I'm also, as you note, nervous about re-amping even with my Cali. Anxious to hear Heady chime in as well.
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2016, 02:55:42 PM »

Howdy,

I'm not intimately familiar with all the speakers being discussed in this thread, but I'm interested in the discussion and the opinions posted thus far. What people posted is consistent with my thoughts, or what I've heard other's say, as well.

The Purple Haze was designed to be a lower-powered JBL style speaker. Most reviews describe the speaker as tonally open, in the "big American JBL" vein of tone, yet its got its own thing going on. Part of "its own thing" was definitely intention on the part of Tone Tubby, aiming for a more overdrive friendly speaker with the smoothness of hemp and opting away from the metal dust cap for which JBL is known.

I love the tone of JBL's in some applications. Those big clean tones with the super clear glassy top-end is great. But things go south quickly as you start into introduce overdrive with a metal dust cap IMO. I know Weber tried to address that offering a paper dust cap option. I'd say its clear Tone Tubby was also thinking about this when they made the Purple Haze. When I've felt like going for a bigger sound, I've tended to reach for an Electro-Voice rather than a JBL because they came with the Mark III and I'm more used to using them, as well as the fact they have some of that clear top-end clean, but round out a bit with overdrive. However, I always find the EV too deep / dark and I switch back to British speakers. And thats really where I always end up: back at something in the V30 / Gold camp.

I thought Trey sounded ok with the Purple Haze. Kinda in between his tone and Jerry's - you could hear it was more open, more classic and laid back than Trey's norm, but also overdrive sounded better than with Jerry's rig. However, more open and laid back also means less pushed, exigent and powerful. In fact, I think the other thread about Trey's tone after he allegedly booted his Ross recently, which apparently never actually happened, was actually more about the tonal change going from V30's to the Purple Haze. And apparently many people on this forum like that tonal change more than I do - its just a matter of opinion, but I think something special happens when you have that overdriven midrange that shakes the body of the guitar, which in turn feeds more back into the amp/speaker.

Considering this, I would say some of the best comparisons of these speakers in a jammy rig would come from some of the recent live recordings of Trey. We can compare him using his Purple Haze speakers in recent 2015 shows, with his 2014 (and pre-Dead 2015) show in which he was using his Mesa>V30 setup, with his 2013 rig with the Bogner>CL-80 setup. My favorite is the Mesa>V30 and thats what I went back to. However, sometimes our ears want a change, especially with the mids of a V30, and that occassionally drives me back to the EVM12L or EV Force 12. I tend to love the EV tone for a couple weeks and find it too dark and not enough mid-focused. While I don't dig the Bogner too much, I think the CL80 comes somewhere in the middle, and we can hear that in many 2013 tracks. The "big American" speakers have deeper bass and higher treble than the Celestions, and while the CL80 sounds British, it doesn't have the mids that can sometimes be fatiguing of the V30. However, the CL80 kinda has a metalic "ping" to it that really bothers me. Its predecessor, the G12-80, sounds much better, and the Steamboat Hemp 100 is a G12-80 re-built with a Tone Tubby Hemp Cone. I dug the Steamboat because it had British mids that were less fatiguing than the V30, it was more refined than the CL80, a clearer top-end than most hemp cones, has great (100w) power handling, excellent efficiency (must be about 100db, as loud as Celestion), and the smoothness and cleanness of hemp (hemp is tougher than paper and less likely to distort).

I recently switched back to V30's from a Steamboat for a couple reasons. The Steamboat could handle my Mesa in a 1x12, but at the louder events, I noticed it distorting a bit, so I figured I would be better off with 2 V30s (not to mention a 212 would sound a bit warmer). Plus, I found the Steamboat had a bit more low-mids than I wanted with my Mesa - I loved how those low-mids filled out my Deluxe Reverb though. When I switched back to V30's, I did enjoy getting back to the full-throttle midrange - I just have to remember it will always sound better at gigs than at home, and not to sell my speakers every time I want to hear someting different!

In other words, for me, I know I will always go back to V30's. But clearly some people are digging Trey's tone with the Purple Haze speakers. My guess is if you like the way Trey sounds at FTW and since then, you will dig the Purple Haze. I personally struggle to imagine paying the price for a boutique Alnico speaker, and I think it would be hard to match those soaring leads many of us fell in love with from the early 90's Mesa>V30 tone. I'm guessing the price of the Purple Haze is what makes some people wonder about Weber Calis? I have no idea how those two compare. My issue with Weber and WGS is that they are both less efficient than Celestions (not as loud). I've had some awesome Webers and some that were just okay - I think its because they have so many options, you can easily order a few parameters that don't mix well together (like Hemp and heavy or pre-rola dope). I've also been very impressed with WGS, but I've found them to be a bit darker than their Celestion counterpart. While that sounds smoother, it also doesn't always sit as well in the mix.
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« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2016, 03:29:36 PM »

Heady, do you still have the Steamboat? If so, would you part with it?
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« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2016, 04:42:40 PM »

Heady, do you still have the Steamboat? If so, would you part with it?

Sorry - I sold it a few months back.
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« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2016, 04:57:44 PM »

Cool. It sounds like that's what I should try. FYI, the comparison to the Cali is simply because that's what I have now. I'm not keen to reduce wattage and I really do love my cleans with the California, but I want something less harsh with OD. Sounds like the Steamboat might be just the ticket.
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1989 Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 (Seymour Duncan 59s), POS Fender acoustic
'78 Silverface Fender Deluxe Reverb (Weber California w/ paper cone)
Teese RMC3 Wah> Boss Tu-3 Tuner> MXR Phase 45> Ibanez TS9 (Keeley modded)> TS808 (Analogman TV)> Keeley Compressor (two knob)>VFE Rocket Boost EQ> Boss DD-3> DigiTech JamMan Solo XT
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